Day 10: Tok, AK: 316km

July 8, 2013

On top of the world, looking down on...

On top of the world, looking down on..

Dendog's puddle of Mud

Dendog’s puddle of Mud

A video of part of the Top of the World Highway.

Reading the title of this post you could assume it was a short, relaxed ride to achieve our goal:  Alaska!

If you check Spotwalla, you might see some really slow progress.  Let’s sum up the ride in as few words as possible:

Scary.  Rainy. Muddy. Intimidating.  Beautiful.

The “direct” route from Dawson to Tok is via the Top of the World and Taylor Highways.  The border crossing at Porter Creek is the highest (elevation) and furthest north in North America.  The Top of the World highway was allowed us to see some beautiful scenery and travel at a reasonable pace over mostly well groomed gravel and pavement.  The Taylor highway (on the US side) was just a mess of yuck.  In the construction area there was about 500 meters of gooey clay. It was unmarked and because we were in the clouds we didn’t see the surface change.  I hit it first, stood up and tried to power through it.  I announced to Dendog I was going down but somehow I kept it up (not a double entendre).  I stopped and we ended up pushing my bike up the rest of the clay field.  I rode his with my feet on the ground the whole way. It was yucky.  The yucky did not stop there.  At least one other time I announced to Dendog I was going down.  And again, I failed to fulfill the prophecy.

We stopped in Chicken to try and clean the clay out of Dendog’s rad and other parts of the bikes.  Got some gas and tried to dissuade other bikers heading north from continuing.

Back in Dawson we had met a nice couple on BWMs (everybody is on a BWM or a Harley it seems) and they told us the ride was fairly easy.  Difference was it had rained and was raining for us.

When we finally got to Tok, we stopped at a car wash to clean us and the bikes.  Found our B&B and sat on the deck.  It was my night to ride out to get dinner.

If I ever say I want to ride some crappy dirt / gravel / mud road again, please make me relive this ride.

We would never do this again, but we are pretty happy we did it!

Off to Whitehorse tomorrow as we begin the adventure home.

 

 

My feet

My feet

Chicken, AK

Chicken, AK

Dendog's bike on the Taylor

Dendog’s bike on the Taylor

Me in Alaska!

Me in Alaska!

The REALLY crappy part of the Taylor

The REALLY crappy part of the Taylor

On the George Black ferry crossing the Yukon.

On the George Black ferry crossing the Yukon.